Firm seeking to build coal terminals faces challenges

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Ambre Energy, an Australian company that is proposing to build coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon, faces numerous financial, regulatory and other challenges in moving those projects forward, the nonprofit Sightline Institute said in a report it released Wednesday.

The institute said Ambre had endured large financial losses since 2005 and that it faces substantial capital costs and regulatory uncertainty as it moves to develop what the institute describes as a high-risk coal export operation. Ambre is pursuing two export terminals along the Columbia River: the Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview and a Morrow Pacific project spread between the Port of Morrow and the Port of St. Helens, both in Oregon. The Morrow Pacific plan involves using Vancover-based Tidewater Barge Lines Inc. to move the coal in covered barges from the Port of Morrow to the Port of St. Helens, where it would be loaded onto ships to Asia.